Frank Wilderson III
Professor and chair of African American Studies at University of California, Irvine, the author of the searing book, Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid, and a long-ago Seattle resident, Frank B. Wilderson III makes this welcome Seattle return for his provocative, singular new book, Afropessimism (Liveright).
“Frank Wilderson slings piercing stories and scalding analyses with literary fire and intellectual rigor. His tales juke genre and high-step over high-theory mumbo jumbo, and float Franz Fanon some new wings. Like Ralph Ellison’s bluesman, he peers unflinching into the abyss, testifies to its brutal histories and hopeless predicaments, ‘to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not through the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-comic lyricism.’ He ghostwrites our brutal pasts into present and still hopeless predicaments, yet divines deep love and blues humor. Even if our own hopes may live elsewhere, we cannot dismiss Afropessimism’s unnerving and undeniable truths, nor the timeless art of its author.” - Timothy B. Tyson.
“Frank Wilderson’s Afropessimism is a brilliant memoir and riveting work of creative non-fiction. He joins the ranks of Claudia Rankine, Saidiya Hartman and Frantz Fanon as one of the boldest and most unflinching theorists of the indispensability—like oxygen to lungs—of anti-Black violence and racism. And nothing since Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas has haunted me with the sheer terror of truth that Humanity and the world itself are defined by and feed on Black suffering and death. The greatest challenge in reading this Afropessimist coming-of-age story is seeing a reflection of yourself and finding the will and the words to prove him wrong.” - Khalil Muhammad.
Presented by Town Hall Civics in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.